Honor & Authority

Reading Romans 13 today reminds me that we are all that we are all under authority, both spiritually and under the laws of the land. God said that he set authorities in place for our good and the authorities are intended to act as servants. Obviously, we all understand how badly this can go awry, but when we are submitted to God by submitting ourselves to authorities even if they are not using their authority properly, we are under the will of God and we can fully trust Him that he will use situations, give us favor and even work on our behalf if we choose to honor and choose to trust God. I once heard someone speak on authority that also really changed my view forever. She gave a simple illustration, but the point was this. If someone above us is abusing their God-given authority we have not only the right, but the responsibility to appeal to their higher authority. We all have authority over us, so the chain stops nowhere including all the way up to God Himself.  Our attitude toward people of whom we are under authority really reflects our own attitude towards God. This one convicts my heart a lot because I have definitely done way more than my share of complaining about authorities in my life! We see the flaws of those who lead us, and we are affected directly by the decisions they make. It’s so tempting to tear them down and to complain and get other people on board with our complaints and even our wrong speculations about situations. I’m a sarcastic person by nature. I usually keep it on the funny side, but I really do like to joke and say sarcastic things when I process through hard things. When I’m frustrated this is my go-to mind escape and as I run my mouth, I usually start off funny, but I know when I’m riding the line of complete disrespect. This one is especially a challenge to me in the workplace, but I’m also mindful of how devastatingly easy this is to abuse in more familiar situations like home and family. We’re comfortable there and we are so much worse there because we live with each other and are so very aware of each other’s flaws and shortcomings that it’s so easy to dismiss our attitudes and we are so much quicker to say something rude, disrespectful, and dishonoring and we are also less sorry for it in the moment because of our familiarity. As I read through Romans 13, I was mindful not only of the authorities in my life, but also of the roles where I carry some authority. This is a great responsibility because if God Himself says that he puts authority in place then I am accountable not only to my leaders but to God for how I manage people that I lead in any kind of capacity. I have a responsibility to honor the value of anyone who serves under my leadership and to make sure they are equipped, encouraged, and sometimes respectfully corrected. This is something I take very seriously because I have deep convictions that every single person created was created in the image of God and to treat them with any kind of disrespect is to dishonor God Himself.

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